Microsoft licenses Linux software to Japanese firm

Japanese firm I-O Data Device has agreed to pay Redmond giant Microsoft for “patent coverage” of products running Linux and open source software.

The “patent covenants” apply to I-O Data’s network attached storage devices and routers which run Linux.

David Kaefer, general manager at IP licensing at Microsoft said: “Microsoft has a strong track record of collaboration with companies running Linux based offerings, and this agreement is a reflection of our commitment to partner with industry leaders around the world.”

Microsoft has made patent agreements with other companies that use Linux in embedded devices including Brother, Fuji Xerox, Kyocera Mita, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics and TomTom.

Microsoft won’t say what the agreement covers in terms of patents nor how much it’s worth.